Originally Posted by Dr. Flyview
What's this about vin specific on OBDII? I don't think so...
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In my case three weeks after buying my e36, I had a complete failure of the instrument cluster. I did not take it to a dealer, and instead took it to a shop which I have gone to for years and have trusted them for their honesty an the quality of their work (and no, not Bob's backyard).
The issue did indead stem from the instrument clsuter, and was advised that the clsuter would need be replaced, and that they are programmed to match the computer (ie vin specific), and that a used one could not be reprogrammed. I had purchased and aftermarket warrenty, and the warranty company stressed on either using a recycled or to have the unit rebuilt. The garage advised that this was not the proper way to do the work, and refused to perform either option stating that if such work was to be done it would not be by their shop.
In the end the total repair came to $2400.00, of which I was left with a bill of $1000.00 for the diagnostic work that the warrenty did not cover.
I was not impressed with the way the warrenty company handled their business, and they appear to operate the way an insurance company would but without any of the regulations imposed by legislative acts. My only solace in the matter is that they paid out more than twice what I paid for in the contract.